Portland calls itself the Garden City and the City of Roses. In this temperate climate, it's easy to have a grow things and we visited two of the gardens located near the city center in Washington Park, a huge green area that includes other gardens and the zoo. The Rose Garden has been here since 1917 and part of its mission is to produce and test new varieties of roses. The Japanese Garden models itself after the gardening style favored in the Land of the Rising Sun. We often find the Japanese approach to life challenging to understand and spending hours raking gravel into neat lines around a moss covered boulder would qualify as one of many things we just don't relate to. However, the gardens were well kept and teeming with people. We were hoping for a little fall color amidst all the greeness, but it's not quite autumn here yet.